Outdoorsmen spending $10,000 to hunt naked women with paintball guns — is it a joke or a genuine, albeit warped, business?
Early Saturday morning, representatives of Real Men Outdoor Productions gathered with select reporters at a large undeveloped piece of land near a suburban Las Vegas housing development for a demonstration of their game, "Hunting for Bambi." ABC News Radio was the only U.S. broadcasting company in attendance.
The company said it wanted to prove the game was not a hoax and didn't incite violence towards women.
The organizers were more than an hour late for the 8:45 a.m. start time, but eventually two women were brought to the course. Each was promised $1,000 if they were hit with a paintball, $2,500 if they made it through the entire course without being shot, and a bonus of $100 for each of ten flags they were able to pick up along the course.
The organizers later told reporters each would receive more than $2,500, regardless of the hunt's outcome, as a goodwill gesture.
Frank vs. Katie
The hunter that day claimed to be a businessman from Hawaii named Frank who said he'd paid $10,000 for the experience. He was provided with a paintball gun and ammunition and lined up at one end of the course.
Within 10 minutes, he spotted the two women, who were naked except for sneakers and protective goggles.
After a few misses, Frank hit his target — a woman named Katie — in the leg with a paintball, and the game was over. He then approached his victim, made some crude comments, but Katie told reporters she didn't feel degraded by the experience.
Even after the event, it wasn't clear if Hunting For Bambi was just a publicity stunt. The company acknowledged the $20 video sold on its Web site contains staged footage, and is not meant to be taken seriously. They insisted that Saturday's hunt was real, but they refused to provide proof that hunters have actually paid to participate.
Too Outrageous, Even for Vegas?
Gimmick or not, "Hunting for Bambi" has drawn fire from outraged citizens of Las Vegas. Mayor Oscar Goodman complained it crossed the line of good taste, even for "Sin City." He has called for an investigation.
Jodi Tyson, director of the Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence, called the hunts, "offensive, dangerous and exploitative."
Real Men Outdoor Productions may also be in trouble with the federal government if the hunts took place without permits on private property. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which has jurisdiction on about 90 percent of Nevada land, is investigating whether the company has violated trespassing laws.
ABCNEWS Radio's Al Mancini contributed to this report.